Sudan has struck a deal with South Sudan over oil payments in a dispute that brought to the two countries to the brink of war. A spokesman from Sudan said a “reasonable understanding” had been reached, but that more further on security were needed. The two countries came close to all-out war in April, when South Sudanese troops briefly occupied the disputed oil-rich border area of Heglig. The deal comes hours after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, on a visit to Juba, urged the two Sudans to strike a deal. [BBC]
PRESIDENT OBAMA released a statement today, before he headed out to play golf on his 51st birthday.
Statement by the President on the agreement between Sudan and South Sudan
I welcome the announcement by the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel of an agreement between Sudan and South Sudan on oil revenue. This agreement opens the door to a future of greater prosperity for the people of both countries. The leaders of Sudan and South Sudan deserve congratulations for reaching agreement and finding compromise on such an important issue, and I applaud the efforts of the international community which came together to encourage and support the parties in finding a resolution. In particular, I am grateful for the work of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel, led by President Thabo Mbeki, for its determined and skilled leadership in bringing about this agreement. I am also encouraged by the announcement of a possible agreement on humanitarian access to Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, and urge the immediate implementation of this agreement to provide urgently needed humanitarian assistance to people in these areas.
The United States will continue to support efforts to advance a lasting peace for the people of Sudan and South Sudan. I encourage the parties to build on the momentum created by these breakthroughs to resolve remaining border and security issues.